Lasagnaza

Our new invention!

You may look at the title to this post and wonder, what the heck is that? It is this wonderful creation we made the other night when child #2 did not want to make spaghetti. It is a combination of lasagna and pizza, hence the name. We looked in our pasta box and found that we had a 10 oz. box of lasagna noodles. Hmmm…what can we do with these? Especially considering we’re not eating dairy.

Here is what you will need:

1 lb. lean ground beef

Approximately 60 pieces of turkey pepperoni

1, 10 oz. box lasagna noodles

1, 24 oz. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used Classico Italian Sausage)

Vegan cheese to top

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray. Make three layers of the following: noodles, sauce, pepperoni, and ground beef, broken into small pieces. Top with the vegan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for an hour. Yummy! This can also be assembled and refrigerated in the morning and then baked for dinner. Easy!

A Disturbing Trip

Life can be so beautiful. Please don’t throw it away.

Child #2 and I went food shopping today. We haven’t been to get food in quite a while. We knew it would be a long day, so we started early. Besides getting food we like to shop at resale stores. Money is extremely tight and if we can get the supplies we need at discounted prices, we will.

Child #2 and I are both decent seemstresses and have been able to fix really cool men’s t-shirts (they don’t make the same kind of cool t-shirts for women. We’ve looked.) into awesome women’s t-shirts by changing the collars. Be that as it may, I told you this to get to what happened today.

We were looking through the men’s t-shirts to see if we could find any neat ones from which we could make awesome women’s shirts. You just can’t find much in Marvel or smart-butt t-shirts in women’s. I was looking in my size and child #2 was looking in hers. I came across a grey t-shirt with pink silk-screening on the front. Nice color combination. That is until I realized what it actually had on it. It depicted a woman standing with a gun to her own head. She has obviously pulled the trigger, since there was splatter depicted. As the splatter spread out it turned into pink butterflies.

What?!! This was at a Christian establishment. I was appalled. As a mother of a child who has tried to commit suicide multiple times, I was completely triggered. I was so upset! I tried to get the attention of one clerk, but she apparently didn’t hear me. Another clerk noticed that I was trying to get help and asked if she could be of assistance. I had brought the shirt with me and showed it to her. I let her know that I was shocked that a Christian organization would have such a shirt. She agreed, as did the manager. The problem was that when clothing comes in, the clerks have to go through it so quickly to get it out on the floor, that they don’t always pay close attention.

I wasn’t blaming anyone. I’m sure they have a lot to do and a very limited time in which to do it. However, a shirt that glorifies the horror of suicide, is unacceptable. Any suicide. Especially, a suicide that is so graphic. I guess that was the designer’s plan.

Child #3 has tried to commit suicide on several occasions. The worst was the time she broke my pinky finger. She had taken a four-foot dog leash and wrapped it around her neck and hung it from her closet rod. My finger got broken as she was swinging at me trying to stop me from cutting her down. Pretty, right? Yeah.

Please stop glorifying something that is so painful, for both the person who is so depressed and hopeless that they want to end their life and for the people who they leave behind!

Writing

“Write what, Lord?”

Whenever I consult God through prayer and ask what it is that He wants me to do, the same answer always pops up in my mind; “Write.” That one simple word. No other instructions. “But write what?” I want to scream! Lead me, Lord!

The possibilities are almost endless. First, there is this blog. Second, my children’s book series, which I have yet to get published. Third, there is poetry, which I do so love to write; distilling meaning into the smallest number of words. Forth there are prayers. They seem to just flow out of me. And fifth, music. Not to forget that I am a musician. I write music, on occasion, but I most enjoy writing harmony parts for existing music.

In fact, I wrote a beautiful descant for Ode to Joy just this evening. I wrote an alto part, which is pretty standard harmony. It’s nice, but not exciting. Then I added a descant that floats above the soprano part. It’s beautiful.

I like to write these things, because our little choir is unaccompanied, unless I bring my violin. We do not have a pianist or even a guitarist. I can play a bit of piano, but not super well, so I only play along with the melody or possibly a little harmony. That’s it. My hands are too small to reach all the way across the neck of a guitar, so I don’t play that. I do play my violin from time to time, but that is mainly just melody. Therefore, if I can sing a harmony part and teach one of my kids another, then we can have three part harmony. Even the two parts together are beautiful, but three is amazing.

So, Lord, write what? All of the above? Maybe so.

Are you “Fine?”

Are you ok?

When people ask you “How are you?” do you respond by saying “Fine?” Are you really? I know. I know. Nobody likes a complainer, but by saying you are fine when you aren’t isn’t just lying, it’s wearing a mask.

Am I saying that you should spill all of your troubles with everyone who asks? No, of course not! However, it is not a lie to say that today has been tough, or that you’ve had a bad/great week. People may surprise you! They may actually care!

Also, don’t forget to count your blessings. Think about it…do you have a soft bed? How about a roof over your head? A loving family? A good job? Food to eat? Friends? A loving spouse? A wonderful pet? Come on…think about it…I’ll bet you have a lot of things for which to be grateful. Even write them down.

If people were actually honest and let others in, not wearing masks, where do you think this world would be? Something to ponder…

Groundhog’s Day Dinner

Yum!

First, I want to say, “Happy Groundhog’s Day! What is Groundhog’s day? It’s this crazy thing we have in North America that a rodent foretells the weather. As the story goes, if the groundhog sees his shadow, Spring is right around the corner. However, if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, we will get six more weeks of Winter. Just about the same thing, in my book! Strange, isn’t it? The odd customs we have.

Groundhog day started in 1887. It has roots in Germany and was brought to Pennsylvania with the German settlers, who chose to use groundhogs, rather than hedgehogs as was done in Germany, since the groundhogs were plentiful in Pennsylvania.

Male groundhogs come up in February, not to predict the weather, but rather to find a mate. Then they return to their dens to finish their Winter hibernation.

So, back to dinner. I decided to make a special celebratory dinner for the “holiday.” But what to make? Finally, I decided on Salisbury steak, but in a special way. What if I could make a groundhog peeping up from his hole? I decided to give it a try. I started with lean ground beef, spices, green beans, and my dairy free mashed potatoes with some beef gravy. Here’s the whole of it:

2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 Tbsp. granulated onion

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

Mix spices into the ground beef well. Use about 2/3’s of the meat into four hamburger patties. The rest form into about three inch long “groundhogs,” bending the head portion to form an almost candy cane shape.

For the patties, cook on medium heat. When you flip the patties, add the “groundhogs,” flipping along with the patties. I put it together with a patty on the plate. Then I “frosted” the patty with my dairy free mashed potatoes. Next I surrounded the “frosted” patty with green beans. After, I made a hole in the mashed potatoes, stuck in my “groundhog” and shored up the potatoes around it. Around the “groundhog” I drizzled gravy to make it appear as if he had soil coming from his hole. It was so cute! Take a look:

Very cute and extremely tasty!

Enjoy! And Happy Groundhog’s Day!

What now, Lord?

A brighter tomorrow?

Yesterday we found out that child #3 was in close contact with someone who was diagnosed with Covid. Wonderful. So, she is in quarantine. At home. With us. Yeah.

Today I learned that the job I had wanted and went through two interviews for, was offered to someone else. I was devastated. I have been out of work since March of last year. It’s tough. I had really wanted that job. It was a work-from-home position with accounting. It seemed to be the perfect solution for work, but with the ability to be home for child #3 and her special needs. Darn!

So, I mourned a bit, read some of the book that I’m reading about God, and took a nap to recover. I know that God loves me very much. I don’t have to be perfect for that. Good thing, too, since I am far from perfect! He knows me, and in that, I must realize that He knows best. He knows what I need and what’s best for me. I just have to trust Him.

I will, therefore, keep searching. Keep seeking Him. It is what I am called to do.

I love to write, and would love to do that for a living. I’m not sure where to start, though there is this blog! Can’t I do this for a living? That would be a dream come true!

A Guilty Pleasure

I have a guilty pleasure. Want me to share? I like to watch nanny shows. Perhaps it makes me feel better that my children are not that badly behaved. Oh, wait. Yeah. Reality check. Well, at least they’re different problems.

I mean, I have never seen anyone’s child cut themselves or try to commit suicide. Generally the children run around hitting each other and their parents, screaming, spitting, etc. They seem to have problems that seem so much easier to solve than my own offspring’s difficult, multi-faceted, trauma-induced problems.

There is no easy answer for my children’s problems. One of the British nannies can’t come in and fix us in a week. Trauma takes longer. I don’t know that they will ever recover. It doesn’t matter if I enforce time-outs, or take privledges away. It will still end in depression on suicidal ideation for child #3.

Granted, they are much older than the youngsters featured. However, there are still some similarities. It is sad. I’d like to think that I could handle children with fewer issues than mine. Maybe if I been able to raise my children without the abuse of my ex-husband, but that is neither here nor there. Life did not happen that way. What I am left with is what happened and learning how to heal – myself and my children.

So, what’s your guilty pleasure? A favorite show? Maybe chocolate after the kids are in bed? Care to share? Please do so in the comment section. And don’t worry. I’m in no position to judge!